Nigerian-Australian middleweight sensation Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya stamped his class all over UFC 243 with a brilliant display to knock out Robert Whittaker and capture the UFC middleweight title in Melbourne, Australia.
Adesanya, who arrived in the arena at Marvel Stadium accompanied by a three-man street-dance troupe as he danced his way to the cage in a choreographed routine, accompanied by his friends and teammates from his gym, City Kickboxing.
The 30-year-old star then proceeded to produce a phenomenal performance to finish Whittaker in just two rounds to claim his spot at the top of the UFC’s 185-pound division as the organization’s undisputed middleweight champion of the world.
Whittaker started aggressively but was quickly and effectively countered by Adesanya throughout the opening round.
And the Kiwi challenger and interim champion very nearly claimed a stunning first-round finish as he decked the reigning champ with a big right hand right at the end of the round as the buzzer spared the Australian from taking any more shots and potentially losing the fight.
Whittaker recovered well and came out looking to push the pace again in Round 2, but Adesanya had found his range and adjusted to the champion’s timing. And when he answered a straight right with a brilliant right-left riposte that sent the champion crashing to the floor once again.
This time there was no buzzer to save the Aussie, as Adesanya moved in to finish his man with ground strikes as referee Marc Goddard dived in to end the contest and protect the still dazed champion.
It gave Adesanya a second-round stoppage, the 18th win of his perfect professional MMA career and saw him upgrade his interim UFC middleweight title for the full, undisputed version on a night that saw the charismatic Kiwi become the UFC’s latest superstar world champion.